Italy Hires Special Agent to Crackdown on Imitation Prosecco Sales

Plus other news and notes from the world of wine, spirits and beer.


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According to The International Business Times, the Italian Agriculture Ministry has tasked Andrea Battistella, an Italian special agent specializing in oenology, to crackdown on sales of imitation Prosecco. His job: make surprise visits to supermarkets and wine bars throughout the Veneto region. He will ensure that the bubbly white wine sold bears certified DOC and DOCG labels, and that the wine is not sold in carafes or from a tap. Violations are referred to authorities, with “faux-secco” sellers facing up to around $25,000 in fines.

Vision Wine & Spirits LLC has added Ramona Singer's eponymous wines to its portfolio. Singer, of Real Housewives of New York City fame, produces a Pinot Grigio and a Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, which are sold in 750ml bottles for $12.99. They are currently distributed in 20 states.

Tyler Thomas has been appointed winemaker for Santa Barbara-based Dierberg family’s properties. He will oversee production of the wineries at Dierberg Vineyards in Santa Rita Hills and Santa Maria, as well as Star Lane Vineyards in Happy. Before joining Dierberg, Thomas was the winemaker at Sonoma County’s Donelan Family Wine.

Napa-based Old Bridge Cellars announced a partnership with VIA Wines, taking over all U.S. sales and marketing for the Chilean brand’s three labels. The new partnership marks Old Bridge Cellars’s expansion into South America. VIA Wines owns more than 2,500 acres of vineyards in Maule, Curico, Colchagua and Casablanca valleys, and is certified sustainable under Wines of Chile’s Sustainability Program.

Antonio Treviño has been promoted to Director of Winemaking Operations for Sonoma Wine Company and Purple Wine Company. Treviño will supervise winemaking activities across the companies’s wine brands; wine and grape sourcing; and control and private label wine programs. Treviño has been with Sonoma Wine Company since 2003.

In an interview with The Drinks Business, Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore expressed Virginia’s goal of being “the Wine Capital” of the East Coast. According to Haymore’s figures, the state is the fifth largest wine producer in the country (after California, New York, Washington and Oregon). The state’s wineries generate $750 million a year with over six million bottles produced a year. The decline of the tobacco industry in Virginia has led to an increase in winery openings, with 100 opening in the last seven years (there are 240 now). Wine tourism numbers have also increased to roughly 1.6 million people a year. Read Wine Enthusiast’s Buying Guide for ratings of Virginia wine >>>
 

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